Lesser Black-backed Gulls displaying choking behavior – 20130528

I came across another example today of two adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls (Larus fuscus) displaying choking behavior, possibly as an act of aggression rather than pair bonding (I would not expect to see adults still having to confirm their bond at this stage of the breeding season). I witnessed the scene near a resting place on the outskirts of the city center.

Leiden, 28 May 2013.

Adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls displaying choking behavior. Leiden, The Netherlands, 28 May 2013.

Interestingly, today as well as on recent occasions that I have witnessed (aggressive) choking behavior, it was performed near a tree or a lamp post. For some reason, such objects are included in this ritual whenever possible.

See for example this video (taken in August 2012 and part of an article I wrote last year about adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls pairing up after the breeding season):

It’s the same in the USA as well (taken in San Diego, California in April 2013, here the ritual is pair bonding):

To find out more about this behavior, see Gull behavior explained: choking.

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One thought on “Lesser Black-backed Gulls displaying choking behavior – 20130528

  1. The certain tree/lamp-post = one of the paired gulls’ favourite perches? Dunno, just a thought. I do know that some gulls do seem to have one certain high spot that they like to watch the world go by from… Near where I used to live, there was a rooftop ridge that belonged to an old GBBG hen (she had lots of white feathers amongst her black wings, so she was quite distinctive). Other birds might perch on the roof when she was somewhere else, but at all other times, it was *her* rooftop ridge. No questions about it. When she came back, everything else moved without being asked – and stayed away!

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